6 Scary Insurance Myths You Need To Know

It’s hard to know if a piece of information we hear is factual or not. When it comes to insurance, many people have fallen under the trap of believing a widely held but false idea, leaving them ill-prepared when something happens and they aren’t protected like they thought they would be. What are some of these myths? Here are six scary insurance myths you need to know:

insurance mythsMyth 1: Your home insurance policy automatically includes flood and earthquake insurance. Flood and earthquake coverage are not included with your standard insurance policy. For floods especially, a separate policy needs to be purchased. In most cases, homes in flood-prone areas are often required to have separate flood insurance because these types of natural disasters are generally too devastating/damaging to be covered by your homeowners policy.

Myth 2: Your homeowners or car insurance policy will cover your small business. Business liability and business equipment is not covered by homeowners insurance. If you are running (or considering running a home-based business), you must purchase a separate insurance policy for your business. Discuss this with your agent to ensure proper coverage.

Myth 3: You may be responsible if someone other than yourself, a friend or family member, wrecks your car.  When you let someone borrow or drive your car, you are also letting them borrow your insurance. If your car is involved in an accident, you may be responsible, even if someone else was driving. This means your insurance would cover the damage and it would go on your record. Before lending your car to anyone, check three things: check your policy or contact your agent to understand conditions and terms, make sure your friend or whoever drives your car has a valid driver’s license, and always make sure that your registration and insurance information are in your glove box.

Myth 4: You only need life insurance if you have children. Everyone needs life insurance. It helps cover the costs of funerals, bills, etc after death. It can also be used to leave money to a relative or your favorite charity. As you grow older, the cost of life insurance increases significantly and if you have a certain health issue(s), it will be difficult to be able to qualify for life insurance later in life. Make sure you have life insurance coverage, whether you have children or not.

Myth 5: Your insurance will cover you if your car is stolen, vandalized or damaged by falling tree limbs, hail, fire or flood. Standard liability protection will not cover these types of damage. You would need to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, which are optional and will increase your premium, but having both coverages will help in fully protecting your vehicle from all types of damages.

Myth 6: You only need the minimum amount of auto liability insurance required by law. State laws require a minimum liability amount to be a legal driver; however, this will likely not be enough coverage in the event of an accident. In Ohio, the required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is currently $25,000 per person injured in any one accident and $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. This can vary from state to state as well. In comparison to Ohio, the required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage in California is currently $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. Accidents will often cost more than the minimum limits, so you will have to spend more money out-of-pocket for whatever has been lost or damaged.

Understanding these myths will help you become aware of some of the changes you may need to make in your insurance policies. Contact your agent at (937) 848-6181 to make sure you are covered and getting the most out of your coverage.

Behind the Wheel: Your New Teen Driver

TEEN DRIVERIt seems just like yesterday your child was pedaling around in a plastic two-seater “car”. Now they are begging you to get their learner’s permit!  When your teen is ready to get their license and start driving, there are many precautions you can take as a parent to ensure your teen’s safety. By properly insuring all drivers in your family, you can ensure their safety behind the wheel.  

While they are learning the rules of the road, you can educate yourself and start planning out the details of what it will be like to have a new driver on your insurance. Although proper coverage for a teen driver generally means higher rates, there are many ways to save money:

  • Insuring multiple vehicles: Having a multi-car discount is very common, especially for families who have more than one child of driving-age. If there are multiple vehicles on a single policy, a multi-car discount will generally be automatically applied.
  • Increasing deductible rates: The higher the deductible, the less risk the insurer will take, thus lowering the premium. Consumers can save close to 9% in premium costs if the deductible is raised from $500 to $1,000. Talk to your agent to learn about local-specific rates and discounts.
  • Teen discounts: Get your child involved! For many companies, if your teen driver gets good grades, they will provide a discount that can lower your insurance premiums. Also look into enrolling your teen in a safe-driving course, which insurance companies also reward with discounts.
  • Clean driving record: The fewer accidents or tickets you have, the more steady your insurance rates. Encourage your children to practice safe driving by not using their cellphones while driving or anything on that will distract them from being alert while driving.

Talk to your local agent to find out which discounts you qualify for when adding a new driver to your policy. Who doesn’t love safety while saving money? Start today!

Practicing Safety for Back to School

It’s that time of the year! Kids and their parents are flooding the nearest stores to get backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other school supplies before the school year starts. Making sure that kids have the necessities is very important, but ensuring they are safe at school is also critical. Safety starts with the students’ environment, especially in school zones.

In order to ensure the safety of children, there are a number of steps that can be taken in key areas: school buses, playgrounds, and driving zones.  Check out these tips to help you prepare before the school year starts:

School Buses:

  • Do not shout on the bus or distract the bus driver. Shouting and extra noise can distract a bus driver or prohibit them from hearing oncoming sirens from police or ambulances.
  • Do not walk in the driver’s blind spot. A school bus’s blind spot is from the front bumper to to roughly 10 feet in front of the bus.
  • Children must wait to get on or off the bus until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
  • When on the bus, children must be seated at all times to prevent injuries or being thrown from the back or front of the bus. Children must also keep all body parts inside of the bus, i.e head, arms and legs.
  • Make sure that children stay on the sidewalk or designated waiting area until the bus comes.  Prevent them from playing in the street and potentially getting hurt while oncoming traffic is approaching.

Playgrounds:

  • Alert someone at the school if something looks peculiar or unsafe on the playground.
  • Be mindful of any sharp or pointy edges. Also check to see if there is any equipment that may cause strangulation.
  • There should be a supervisor or multiple supervisors watching the kids at all times to make sure they aren’t wandering off to places they aren’t supposed to or jumping off of ledges, ramps, ladders, etc.

Driving in school zones:

  • Be mindful of drop-off and pick-up zones. Do not block or use emergency school lanes and do not use handicapped spots unless you have  a handicap pass.
  • Do not text while driving in school zones
  • Do not pass drivers or change lanes in a school zone
  • Watch out for children running or crossing the street
  • Look out for school zone signals and obey the speed limits.

Seeing so many hazards can be scary and overwhelming, but by knowing the surroundings, studying these tips, and taking the appropriate steps, one will be better prepared and ensure a successful school year for all children!